Hosted telephony is when your phone system is hosted in the cloud and your calls are delivered over an internet connection, rather than a traditional phone system with ISDN lines housed in your office.
When choosing the right hosted telephony for your business it’s likely you will go online to research your options and become informed about the different types of licences available.
However, it’s possible you will come across misinformation and ‘myths’ about VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) that could affect your strategy for communications.
To prevent any confusion take a look at our Buyer’s Guide and refer to these debunked hosted telephony myths:
Myth: Hosted telephony is more complex
Hosted telephony is a modern, technologically up to date phone system which offers users a lot of features which are often easier to use when compared to PBX (Private Branch Exchange) but it is not more complex for your day to day use. In fact, the opposite is true.
With hosted, your communications are centralised and can all be accessed with an easy to use dashboard, making all call performance transparent. Through this data it is easier to make business decisions on your bandwidth and the use of additional features, meaning your system is tailored to your usage with the most appropriate license.
Another way a business’s communications are made less complex and complicated with hosted is that maintenance is included; the hardware and software are maintained by the provider and there are no costly set-up fees.
Myth: Your phone number will be lost
All numbers across multi-sites can remain the same when you move to hosted, and if you expand into new offices or a new geographical location, the same central number can still be used. This is because hosted telephony isn’t tied to one physical location or area code.
This flexibility often benefits businesses who are in a period of growth or those who require mobility; the same number can also show from connected mobile devices when staff are at home (working remotely), on trips, or simply out of the office.
Myth: VoIP is only for large businesses
Call centres and large companies experiencing a high volume of calls across multiple sites definitely benefit from VoIP, but so too can medium and smaller companies.
A small business can use hosted, with calls going over the internet, to grow their business whilst they retain budget to put into other areas of the company. If you’re a small business, you can save on expensive set-up costs, upgrades and downtime that could affect client retention and work against your business objectives.
As hosted provides a very professional level of customer service, smaller businesses can seem bigger than they are and immediately work on trust with clients and showcasing the right tone to succeed. Medium businesses with multiple sites can also save on call costs; calls between multiple sites on the same system are free of charge.
Myth: Hosted telephony can be unreliable
Voice quality and reliability are two of the main cornerstones of hosted phone systems and relate to the reliability of your broadband connection. In recent years, the service provided by broadband has improved hugely and any downtime is typically minimal as providers are aware of the importance of a strong connection to businesses.
In the early days of hosted telephony inadequate connections meant poor service for many, however, picking a reputable data provider who has the ability to manage Quality of Service (QoS) and has the knowledge to match your voice requirements to the capabilities of the available data connections will prevent this.
Whilst extended downtime is highly unlikely, hosted has a range of features to minimise disruption so calls are not missed. These features include voicemail, voicemail to email and call forwarding. Users with mobile licenses aren’t reliant upon the office internet connection either, as this can operate on 4G networks.
When you enquire to upgrade to hosted telephony, your requirements of users and call traffic are analysed to provide you with specific recommendations to ensure the connection is appropriate and reliable for your needs.
Myth: Hosted phone systems aren’t as secure as PBXs
Traditional PBX systems are run on local lines, often through copper cables and ‘clear channels’, meaning voice transmissions are not encrypted. Should someone want to listen to a call over a PBX, it is possible with the right equipment.
On the other hand, VoIP is more secure as it can be hidden behind a firewall, encrypted and monitored by software 24/7 for any security issues, should they arise. Once you upgrade, users can be assigned different levels of access to the system, with a verified log-in process.
Southern Communications is a specialist in hosted telephony and works with leading providers Gamma Horizon and Centrex. If you have any questions, please get in touch to discuss the next steps to upgrade to hosted.